Last updated September 1st 2017
Tel Aviv has an extensive gathering of historical museums, ranging from the history of Israel and Tel Aviv, to the history of Judaism, to the history of Israel’s fighting units. Most of the museums are in North Tel Aviv in Tel Aviv University’s campus – but there are also loads of great smaller museums closer to the centre.
North Tel Aviv
Klausner 15 (part of the Tel Aviv University Campus), North Tel Aviv
Beit Hatfutsot, the Museum of the Jewish People, is set in the beautiful grounds of Tel Aviv University. Its goal is to tell the story of the Jewish people. It has several permanent exhibitions including Family, Community, Faith, Culture, Zionism, and the Diaspora; and quirky temporary exhibitions, for example ‘Good Fortune and Blessings’, ‘Fashion’ and an insight to family life through the life of Amy Winehouse.
Quote from the Group: “the Diaspora Museum is pretty special”
Haim Levanon Street 2 (part of the Tel Aviv University Campus), North Tel Aviv
The Eretz Israel Museum focuses on the history and culture of Israel. Spread across 20 acres and with 15 buildings, it is the third largest museum in Israel. Permanent exhibitions include a history of the Rothschilds in Israel (with some great black and white photos of old Israel), ceramics and glasswork, and history and folklore. Additionally it hosts 20 temporary exhibitions a year.
Haim Levanon Street 8 (part of the Tel Aviv University Campus), North Tel Aviv
The museum presents two parallel stories: the history of democracy in the State of Israel and Israeli society; and the biography of Yitzhak Rabin. The museum includes over 200 short films and over 1,500 still photographs.
Quote from the Group: “If you like Israeli modern history, then DEFINITELY go to the Yitzhak Rabin Center Museum in Tel Aviv and pay for a guided tour in advance. It was an unbelievably good museum that tells the story of the modern jewish state. The exhibits are so good and the guide so well-spoken and interesting.”
Haim Levanon 10,(part of the Tel Aviv University Campus), North Tel Aviv | website
The history and legacy of the elite fighting forces within the underground Jewish army pre dating the state of Israel, told through individual and group experiences and accounts.
Quote from the Group: “Very unique multimedia experience. Everyone I’ve ever taken there has loved it.”
Central Tel Aviv
Sderot Ben Gurion 17
The simple house that was home to an extraordinary man, between 1931 and 1973 this house was the home of Israel’s first Prime Minister and founding father, David Ben Gurion. The house is now a museum, with many rooms the same as when he lived there.
Quote from the Group: “Must do in Tel Aviv.”
St. Shimon Rokach 36, Neve Tzedek
Architectural and cultural gem in heart of Neve Tzedek, insight into how the neighbourhood began.
22 Bialik Street
Originally the home of Chaim Nahman Bialik, pioneer of modern Hebrew and Yiddish poetry and Israel’s national poet. The house is renowned for its original bauhaus architecture and unique interior design, as well as the achievements of its commissioner: built in 1925 and one of the first of its kind but is now part of the wider ‘White City’ group and bauhaus museum cluster centred on Bialik street. A must see for architectural admirers.
Prof. Yehezkel Kaufmann Street (corner of HaMered Street)
Large collection of IDF weapons and artillery.
16 Rothschild Boulevard
A relatively unassuming building… considering it is the site where the declaration of the State of Israel took place. It is small but very interesting, to sit in the hall and listen to the Hatikva being sung for the first time in the official state of Israel by its pioneers and founders. The function of the house has evolved throughout its own history, the story is well documented and it is very informative about the history of Tel Aviv-Jaffa.
Mifratz Shlomo 10
This museum is an amazing piece of history. The building itself is from the Ottoman Empire, and is built on top of a Crusader fortress. Because of this, it displays two forms of art: ancient archeology, and contemporary artwork. Admire the amazing archeological feats of the Ottomans, while simultaneously appreciating more contemporary work.
Check out which of this museums are near you!
By Georgina Balcombe